Winter In Santorini

Winter in Santorini, the bars are closed the restaurants shut up shop all the tourists have left the Island. what does a professional photographer do with downtime!

It's that time of year on the Island when everything seems to stop. After a very busy 2016 season with Weddings,the location photoshoot, and teaching photography it is time to reflect on my shortcomings as a professional photographer, what are my weaknesses? how can I improve? Not only for my own satisfaction but more important for my paying clients in 2017, to improve their experience when they book my service.

Playing With The Toys

Evey year I invest in some new gadget to up my game, a lens, flash system, camera tripod etc. I need to know how it works, how can I fit it into my workflow, my style of photography, I need to know the technology backwards, inside and out. It's not a good idea fumbling around with your new kit while your clients wait...and wait...and wait, so I practice practice and practice some more!

Scouting New Locations

The location Photoshoot is very popular, I take clients to some inspiring parts of the Island to take some cool arty images as a memory of their visit, it could even be my Bride and Groom who booked a photoshoot as part of their wedding package.

Santorini is a small Island however there are always backdrop gems waiting to be discovered so I use some of my dowtime before I return to the U.K., to scout out new locations, it is good for my portfolio.
Its not a good idea to advertize my photoshoot portfolio on my website with different clients in the same locations.

Working With Light

Weddings are a big challenge, most of the bookings are made between 2pm and 5pm from May till the end of September and as such I have to know how to work in difficult lighting conditions

Wedding ceremonies and their position are always facing the Caldera and Volcano side for the spectacular views. I am shooting directly into the sun, exposure is all over the place as I change positions for more interesting angles, keeping the colours of the blue sky rich and blue at the same time exposing for the Bride and Groom and keeping her dress white without blowing the highlights is not for the faint hearted.

How do I achieve the confidence in experimenting with different exposure values with and without flash in a once in a lifetime Wedding shoot? I practice of course. I dont trust my camera to work it out for me, I always work in manual, I can easily correct mistakes and I can easily get creative because I practice and when I practice I always have my camera on manual. Of course I still make mistakes, I am only human but because I practice the mistakes are kept to a minimum and will be corrected in the next frame. If the technology plays up I am in a better position fo figure it out and quickly!

To Sum Up

The message I am drumming here is, a professional photographer should be exactly as it says on the tin.

Your paying clients will not be your paying clients should you get it wrong, your business as a professional photographer will not last long if you dont know your equipment inside and out and back to front. You owe it to yourself and more important to your client to be professional, dont wait till your next paying shoot to get your equipment out. Use downtime wisely and practice practice practice!